The big snow that slows us down
Snowy Neckdowns…via Streetfilms
The above film was made last year after a particularly large storm on the east coast. Over the weekend Northern Michigan had its own big dump of snow and we all realized that sometimes it is best to stay home. Benzie County even wisely publicized that the roads were closed rather than have over-confident motorists driving around.
Still, if we did venture out, we had an excellent opportunity to see traffic calming treatments (MW) in action. Fresh, heavy snowfalls have a way of piling-up just right to offer a nice preview of the impacts traffic calming promises. Namely, smoother, slower traffic through the neighborhoods.
The following snowy bump-out was tweeted to me by Laramie Bates of Griffin Street with the tag, “No speeders through the alley since this little guy showed up.”
On Lincoln St, the 32 foot wide street was narrowed to about 28 ft. Narrowing of the streets is probably the easiest traffic calming treatment we can ask for. Like other streets, Lincoln also had its share of bump-outs and chicanes, as seen below.
The snow also reveals how over built some of our streets and intersections are. Something shown before (MW). The image below is at one of the most frustrating intersections to cross on foot in the City, Milliken Drive and E. Front St. It is bad enough that at two times a day there are hundreds of teenage drivers racing through here, but during the rest of the day the intersection’s design creates other hazards. Simply, it is built for speed, not safety.
For me, the snow-island below shows the extra swing built into the curve to assist people in cars carry speed as they are turning off of Front St. and onto Milliken. It is created because the space the island takes up is not needed, unless the intention is to move cars quickly around the curve., which just happens to cause a lot of close calls with pedestrians. A narrower intersection here would be great.
What did you witness with the snowfall?
Any images of snowy traffic calming to share?
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